Ella Bella Baby and Maternity Blog

10 Calming Essentials For Your Birth Hospital Bag

10 Calming Essentials For Your Birth Hospital Bag

Labour progresses faster when you are in a relaxed and calm environment. So if you are giving birth in a hospital, it's nice to bring along some comforts from home and make the experience less clinical. Here is our doula approved list of calming must haves to create the ultimate space to birth your babe!
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1. Lip balm! During labour you do a lot of breathing through your mouth, making your lips super dry. Bring your lip balm along to keep them comfortable.
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2. Your own pillow. Hospital pillows are small and flat, (picture a 10 year old airline pillow.) Bring some comfort from home and get a good sleep (you're going to need it!) on your own favourite pillow.
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3. Lavender. A calming scent will help you to relax during labour, so whether you prefer a lavender massage oil for a foot rub, or a cooling facial mist, having a calming scent on hand will reduce your stress and relax you (and your other supporters in the room!) 
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4. Cozy socks or slippers. Many women get cold feet while in labour! And this is sometimes enhanced by an epidural. So bring along some warm socks or slippers to walk around in. 
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5. An ipod dock / headphones. Music is soo important for creating a relaxing environment. Make some calming playlists in advance (some rocking ones too!) and set the mood in your space. Note, some hospitals don't allow you to plug things in, hence the headphones, so ask what their policies are during your hospital tour. 
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6. Flameless candles. Hospital lights are the opposite of calming. Bring along your flameless candles and dim the lights for a slice of serenity.
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7. Soft Kleenex. Many women are intimidated of the first bathroom visit after baby as it is. Bring along some super soft kleenex to take care of your sensitive post birth lady parts. 
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8. A tennis ball. Massages work wonders, especially if you are experiencing back labour, but your partners had can become tired over time. So bring a tennis ball they can roll around and target on sore spots and it will increase your massage time ;)
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9. Ear plugs. This is in case you end up sharing a room. Sometimes it can get busy with visitors and people coming and going. Ear plugs are essential to tune it all out.
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10. A large water bottle with a straw. The cups at the hospital are tiny plastic or styrofoam cups, that don't hold much water and need constant refills. Having your own large water bottle is low maintenance, and the straw is nice to drink from in any position. 
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"I like to encourage my clients to think about the 5 senses (touch, taste, sight, smell and sound) and how sensory pleasures can enhance your birth experience. While at first glance these things may seem trivial, they take up little room in the bag and can make a big difference. These thoughtful touches not only change the tone of your birth and serve as wonderful comfort measures, but can impact how your birth unfolds. These are a few “extras,” in addition to all the practical items that you need, that can help make your birth experience more memorable, pleasurable and meaningful." - Michelle Cohen, Doula
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Other tips: 
Stay super organized by compartmentalizing your hospital bag into 1) what you will need for labor; 2) what you will need for recovery; and 3: what you will need for the baby. The more you can keep these items separate the happier you will be!
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Stay Zen! xx
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